The South African government has announced anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela is in a critical condition in hospital where he has been receiving treatment for a recurrent lung infection.
“The condition of former president Nelson Mandela, who is still in hospital in Pretoria, has become critical,” Mac Maharaj, presidential spokesman, said in a statement.
The condition of 94-year-old who was admitted to hospital on June 8 worsened in the past 24 hours.
President Jacob Zuma broke the news after visiting Mandela in hospital Sunday evening and was told by doctors “that the former president’s condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.”
A statement on the government website said; “The condition of former President Nelson Mandela, who is still in hospital in Pretoria, has become critical.
President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by ANC Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, visited the former President this evening, 23 June in hospital. They were briefed by the medical team who informed them that the former President’s condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.
The President and Mr Ramaphosa also met with Mrs Graca Machel at the hospital and discussed Madiba’s condition.
“The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands,” said President Zuma.
The President and Mr Ramaphosa were assured by the doctors that when the ambulance transporting former President Mandela to hospital on the 8th of June developed engine problems, all care was taken to ensure that his medical condition was not compromised.
“There were seven doctors in the convoy who were in full control of the situation throughout the period. He had expert medical care. The fully equipped military ICU ambulance had a full complement of specialist medical staff including intensive care specialists and ICU nurses. The doctors also dismissed the media reports that Madiba suffered cardiac arrest. There is no truth at all in that report,” said President Zuma.
President Zuma has appealed to the nation and the world to pray for Madiba, the family and the medical team that is attending to him during this difficult time.”
Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, is due to celebrate his 95th birthday on July 18. He has been hospitalised four times since December, mostly for the pulmonary condition that has plagued him for years.